April Events!

by Jessica on March 26, 2015

April is on the way and bringing lots of fun things along with it. Yes, April brings Coachella but in the book world we care more about the Festival of Books which is taking place April 18 & 19. We’ll definitely be set up with a few booths so please come say hi. But if we can’t catch you there then come on over to the event space for these great events! We’re working on making Vroman’s look even better so besides the events there’s a lot of great stuff happening in the store to check out. See you soon, friends! 

Wednesday, April 1, 7pm
Jamaal Wilkes discusses and signs Jamaal Wilkes: Memoirs of the Original Smooth as Silk
An inside look at the Hall of Fame basketball career of Jamaal Wilkes. or “Silk,” from the beginning to legendary Coach John Wooden and UCLA along with 2 NCAA championships and an 88-game winning streak, to the 1975 championship season in Golden State, and 3-time NBA champion with the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers. Jamaal’s story inspires, uplifts and amuses young and old, and basketball and non-basketball fans alike as he shares his unique perspectives. (88 Str8 Enterprises)

Thursday, April 2, 6pm
Literary Trivia Night @ Hastings Ranch! 
Brush up on your literary knowledge and join us for some fierce competition! Free to play, all ages welcome. Refreshments will be served and there will be prizes for the winners, too!

Thursday, April 2, 7pm
Charles Harper Webb presents and signs Brain Camp
Powered by a fierce, compassionate intelligence, Brain Camp explores with clarity and vividness a wide spectrum of emotions–love to hate, tenderness to brutality–all from a perspective both universal yet distinctly Webb’s. Metaphors of startling aptness and originality, a voice at once endearing and provocative, high musicality, propulsive energy, wild imaginative leaps, as well as a mastery of diction from lyricism to street-speak, create a reading experience of the first order. These poems go down easy, but pack a wallop. As Robert Frost said poetry should do, Brain Camp “begins in delight and ends in wisdom.” (University of Pittsburg Press)

Friday, April 3, 7pm
George Bernard Shaw in Action (Celebrating PYGMALION at The Pasadena Playhouse)
Join two Teaching Artists from The Pasadena Playhouse for a lively discussion of George Bernard Shaw’s adaptation of the Greek myth into a performance text. Presentation will include a reading of selections from the play, conversation about moving dialogue from the page to the stage and contextualizing Shaw’s work within the theatrical canon. Presented in tandem with the production of George Bernard Shaw’s PYGMALION at The Pasadena Playhouse, playing March 17 – April 12, 2015.
Tickets to PYGMALION may be purchased online at PasadenaPlayhouse.org or by calling 626-356-7529. Use code VROMANS20 to save 20%* on tickets!
*Code VROMANS20 is valid for 20% off tickets to PYGMALION. Offer expires April 12, 2015 and is good on all performances excluding March 22, 2015. Discount is available on all seats excluding ROW C and Hot Seats. All seats are best available. Offer not valid on previous purchases and cannot be combined with any other offer. All tickets are subject to availability. Service charges and theatre restoration fee apply to all orders.

Saturday, April 4, 1pm
Fortunately, the Storytime: A Munchtime Activity
The milk is missing, so mix and match dry cereal (provided by Vroman’s) to munch on as you listen to the first few chapters of Neil Gaiman’s hilarious adventure, Fortunately, the Milk. Afterwards, write your own imaginary story about why you were late to something. Ages 6-10.

Saturday, April 4, 4pm
Chris Freeman & Sue Hodson discuss and sign The American Isherwood
James Berg and Chris Freeman have pieced together a wholly illuminating work that chronicles some of the lesser known writings of Christopher Isherwood. Known for his crisp style and his camera-like precision with detail, Isherwood gained fame for his Berlin Stories, which served as source material for the hit stage musical and Academy Award winning film Cabaret. More recently, his novel A Single Man was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film and his long relationship with artist Don Bachardy was the subject of an award-winning documentary. Isherwood’s colorful journeys took him from post–World War I England to European exile to Los Angeles in the full flower of gay liberation. This collection of essays considers Isherwood’s diaries, his vast personal archive, and his published works and offers an appreciation of a writer who spent more than half of his life in southern California.

Monday, April 6, 7pm
Tracey Cleantis discusses and signs The Next Happy: Let Go of the Life You Planned and Find a New Way Forward
After multiple fertility treatments and years of hardship in her pursuit to have a child, Tracey Cleantis was forced to face the notion that things don’t always work out the way we planned. Through this process, however, she discovered that sometimes there comes a time when the smartest, healthiest, and sanest thing to do it so let go of the original plan in order to find a new way to happiness. The Next Happy offers a roadmap for that journey, teaching you how to let go when your dream isn’t working and ask the questions that will let you move on and set realistic goals for finding a new way forward.

Tuesday, April 7, 7pm
Andrew Morton discusses and signs 17 Carnations: The Royals, the Nazis and the Biggest Cover-Up in History
Andrew Morton tells the story of Edward VIII, later Duke of Windsor and his American wife, Wallis Simpson. He explains the bizarre wartime Nazi plot to make him a puppet king after the invasion of Britain and the attempted cover-up by Winston Churchill, General Eisenhower and King George VI of the duke’s relations with Hitler. For the first time, Morton reveals the whole story behind this cover-up. He explores the daring heist ordered by King George VI and the smooth duplicity of a Soviet Spy. Drawing on FBI documents, exclusive pictures, and material from the German, Russian, and British royal archives, as well as the personal correspondence of Churchill, Eisenhower, and the Windsors themselves, 17 CARNATIONS is full of adventure and intrigue.

Thursday, April 9, 7pm
Naomi Hirahara discusses and signs Grave on Grand Avenue
LAPD bicycle cop, Ellie Rush, stops for a friendly chat with gardener Eduardo Fuentes while patrolling one of Los Angeles’s premier concert halls. A few minutes later she’s shocked to discover him lying at the bottom of a staircase, clinging to life and whispering something indecipherable. Nearby, the father of Xu, a Chinese superstar classical musician, claims Fuentes was knocked down while attempting to steal his son’s multimillion-dollar cello—a story Ellie has trouble believing. It’s clear to Ellie that she must act quickly before someone else falls silent.
Poet Amy Uyematsu will be joining Naomi, reading from her new collection of poetry, The Yellow Door

Friday, April 10, 7pm
Dan Jurafsky discusses and signs The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu
In The Language of Food, Stanford University professor and MacArthur Fellow Dan Jurafsky peels away the mysteries from the foods we think we know. Why do we eat toast for breakfast, and then toast to good health at dinner? What does the turkey we eat on Thanksgiving have to do with the country on the eastern Mediterranean? Can you figure out how much your dinner will cost by counting the words on the menu? The fascinating journey through The Language of Food uncovers a global atlas of culinary influences that lie just beneath the surface of our daily snacks, soups, and suppers.

Saturday, April 11, 11am – 4pm
Zine Workshop @ Hastings Ranch! 
We will be continuing our zine workshop. Zines, comics & other forms of diy (self publishing). Illustrators/writers of all ages welcome!!!

Saturday, April 11, 4pm
Lorraine Bracco discusses and signs To the Fullest: The Clean Up Your Act Plan to Lose Weight, Rejuvenate, and Be the Best You Can Be
After losing both of her parents within 9 days of each other, Bracco decided it was time to take charge of her life and health. In To the Fullest, actress, Lorraine Bracco presents her Clean Up Your Act Program, a comprehensive plan to help women over 40 look and feel younger. The program includes an intensive liver cleanse to reboot the body to start fresh on the path to optimal health by eliminating gluten, sugar, eggs, and dairy. Meal plans and a varied list of meals and snacks illustrate that hunger is not part of the program and that eating clean has endless flavorful options. Her diet will help you lose pounds and deliver your body the energy it craves. Bracco also adds her own mouthwatering recipes to ease the transition to clean eating.

Sunday, April 12, noon
Vroman’s Local Author Series introduces Hope & Gabriel Punsalan and Khatera Ghazanfar
Hope & Gabriel Punsalan read from and sign I Love You Like…
Accompany little Alexander as he takes an imaginative journey playing in his toy chest. Follow along with each character that he brings to life and experience the joy it brings to all!

Khatera Ghazanfar reads from and signs Holy Cow! Elsie’s Great Escape to the Sacred Land
Mama Cow and Elsie have their whole worlds shattered when Farmer Ed, their gentle owner, is forced to sell his small farm to a commercial farmer because he is no longer able to compete with the commercial farms. They are taken from a place where they are loved and safe, to a place where they are lost in a sea of cows fated to become someone’s meal. But through Mama Cow’s sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice a mother can make for a child, Elsie manages to escape her fate with the help of a young bull, Sonny. Elsie and Sonny then embark on a journey to find the great land in the east they have heard about, where cows are sacred and reign high. They are swept away on an adventure that at times is hilarious, heartbreaking, and death defying, but always keeps the reader in suspense.

Sunday, April 12, 4pm
Vroman’s Local Author Day introduces Pedram Navab, Jennifer Maimone, and James Michael Dorsey

Pedram Navab presents and signs Without Anesthesia
“Dear Tess, we cut you up today.” So ends and begins the disturbing and provocative story of Tess, a third-year medical student whose compulsive desire to feel her patients’ pain leads her to destruct her own body by methods both horrific and creative. When Tess’s narrative intersects with similarly obsessive characters, the distinctions between fiction and reality, between art and medicine, are called into question. Without Anesthesia spans time periods and settings — from 1920’s Hollywood to late 1990’s New York — and culminates in an ending that Alfred Hitchcock himself would approve.

Jennifer Maimone presents and signs Demon’s Prize
For months, socially withdrawn Dr. Brent Carson has been reading about women being abducted throughout the city, the most recent article revealing how all of them may have been practitioners of witchcraft. Out of curiosity, Brent decides to personally investigate what is going on, but is distracted when four friends move to the city, all of whom he knows to be werewolves – except for Angela Dane, who is only half.

James Michael Dorsey presents and signs Vanishing Tales From Ancient Trails
James Dorsey is no ordinary travel writer. In this remarkable book he takes us inside remote cultures many will be surprised to learn still exist. The author’s fascination with remote lands and ancient practices of their inhabitants makes him as much a participant as an observer. That a 21st-century man could invoke the spirit of a Stanley or a Shackleton makes it a must read.” – Dick Russell, author of Eye of the Whale.

Monday, April 13, 6pm
Chiquis Rivera signs Forgiveness: A Memoir
Chiquis Rivera is a singer and the daughter of the late music superstar Jenni Rivera. In Forgiveness, Chiquis bravely reveals the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father during her childhood and the difficulties she’s faced in her personal life as a result. Despite growing up marked by the wounds of abuse, she eventually conquered her fear of love and intimacy. This story also recounts what caused the distance between her and her mother toward the end of Jenni’s life, and sheds light on what she wishes she could have shared with her. Two years after her mother’s death, Chiquis answers the most difficult questions: Was she able to make peace with Jenni? And in this story of triumph and tragedy, who is most in need of forgiveness?

Tuesday, April 14, 7pm
William Hackman discusses and signs Out of Sight: The Los Angeles Art Scene of the Sixties
Histories of modern art are typically centered in Paris and New York. Los Angeles is relegated to its role as the center of popular culture but lacking the highbrow credentials of other major metropolitan cities. Yet in the 1950s and 1960s, L.A. witnessed a burst of artistic energy and invention rivaling New York’s burgeoning art scene a half-century earlier, and east and west coasts seemed evenly matched. Out of Sight chronicles the rapid-fire rise, fall, and rebirth of the L.A. art scene, from the emergence of a small bohemian community in the 1950s to the founding of the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1980. William Hackman also explores the ways in which the L.A. art scene reflected the hopes and fears of postwar America and pays tribute to the city that gave birth to an overlooked moment in modern art.

Wednesday, April 15, 7pm
Hallie Ephron discusses and signs Night Night, Sleep Tight: A Novel of Suspense
It’s Los Angeles, 1985. Deidre Unger makes the drive from San Diego to Beverly Hills to help her father put his house on the market. When she arrives she gets a lot more than she expected. Deirdre finds her father facedown in his swimming pool – dead. At first, Deidre assumes her father’s death is a tragic accident. But the longer she stays in town, the more she suspects that everything isn’t as it seems to be. As Deidre digs deeper into the past she becomes increasingly more convinced that her father’s death is the deadly third act in a story that has long been in development. If she isn’t careful she may be the final victim.

Thursday, April 16, 7pm
Joe Kanon discusses and signs Leaving Berlin
From the bestselling author of Istanbul Passage comes a novel of postwar East Berlin in 1948. It’s almost four years after the war has ended and the city is still in ruins. In the West, a blockaded city is barely surviving on airlifted supplies. In the East, the early days of political reconstruction are being undermined by the compromises of the Cold War. Alex Meier is a young Jewish writer who fled the Nazis for America before the war began. Alex is faced with deportation and the loss of his family. With nowhere left to turn he makes a bargain with the CIA. He will earn his way back to America by acting as their agent in his native Berlin. Almost immediately things start to go fatally wrong. An East German agent is killed and Alex finds himself a wanted man. But worse than all that, he discovers his real assignment is to spy on the woman he left behind, the only woman he ever loved.

Tuesday, April 21, 7pm
Brian Fagan discusses and signs The Intimate Bond: How Animals Shaped Human History
From the dawn of existence, animals and humans have been constantly redefining their relationship with one another. Brian Fagan unfolds this fascinating story from the first world, animals that wandered into our prehistoric ancestors’ camp and found companionship to the industrial age when some animals became commodities and others became pets. Through an in-depth analysis of six truly transformative human-animal relationships, Fagan shows how our habits and way of life are altered by our bond with animals. Among other stories, Fagan explores how herding changed human behavior and how the horse carried a hearty band of nomads across the world and toppled the emperor of China.

Wednesday, April 22, 7pm
Les Standiford discusses and signs Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct, and the Rise of Los Angeles
In 1907, William Mulholland, an Irish immigrant, conceived and built one of the greatest civil engineering feats in history, an aqueduct that carried water 223 miles from the Sierra Nevada mountains to Los Angeles. This allowed the resource-challenged desert city to grow into a global metropolis. With colorful detail, Water to Angels brings to life the personalities, politics and power which included bribery and deception behind this dramatic event.

Thursday, April 23, 7pm
Sam Quinones discusses and signs Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic
In Dreamland, Sam Quinones chronicles how, over the past 15 years, enterprising sugar cane farmers in a small country on the west coast of Mexico created a unique distribution system that brought black tar heroin to the veins of people in the United States. Communities like Charlotte, NC and Salt Lake City, UT communities that had never seen heroin before were overrun with it. How could heroin, a drug that had been trafficked into the country by giant Columbian drug cartels be so ubiquitous in American heartland? Who was bringing it here? Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of American capitalism: the stories of young men in Mexico that were independent of the drug cartels in search of their own American Dream and that of Purdue Pharma in Stamford, Connecticut determined to corner the market on pain with its new miracle drug, Oxycotin. Quinones illuminates just how these two stories fit together. Dreamland is a scathing account of drug culture and addiction that is spreading to every part of the American landscape.

Friday, April 24, 7pm
Ryan Gattis & artist, Chaz Bojorquez discuss and sign All Involved: A Novel
A propulsive and ambitious novel as electrifying as The Wire, from a writer hailed as the West Coast’s Richard Price–a mesmerizing epic of crime and opportunity, race, revenge, and loyalty, set in the chaotic streets of South Central L.A. in the wake of one of the most notorious and incendiary trials of the 1990s
At 3:15 p.m. on April 29, 1992, a jury acquitted three white Los Angeles Police Department officers charged with using excessive force to subdue a black man named Rodney King, and failed to reach a verdict on the same charges involving a fourth officer. Less than two hours later, the city exploded in violence that lasted six days. In nearly 121 hours, fifty-three lives were lost. But there were even more deaths unaccounted for: violence that occurred outside of active rioting sites by those who used the chaos to viciously settle old scores.
A gritty and cinematic work of fiction, All Involved vividly re-creates this turbulent and terrifying time, set in a sliver of Los Angeles largely ignored by the media during the riots. Ryan Gattis tells seventeen interconnected first-person narratives that paint a portrait of modern America itself–laying bare our history, our prejudices, and our complexities. With characters that capture the voices of gang members, firefighters, graffiti kids, and nurses caught up in these extraordinary circumstances, All Involved is a literary tour de force that catapults this edgy writer into the ranks of such legendary talents as Dennis Lehane and George V. Higgins. (Ecco Press)

Saturday, April 25, 10:30am
Craft time with Jen – Binoculars!!
Jen will be teaching everyone how to create their own set of binoculars with string and cardboard. Yay! Materials will be provided.

Saturday, April 25, 4pm
Jo Ivester discusses and signs The Outskirts of Hope: A Memoir of the 1960s Deep South
In 1967, when Jo Ivester was ten years old, her father transplanted his family from a suburb of Boston to a small town in the heart of the Mississippi cotton fields. There he became the medical director of a clinic that served the poor population for miles around. Ultimately, it wasn’t Ivester’s father who made the most enduring mark. It was her mother, a stay-at-home mother who became a high school English teacher. In The Outskirts of Hope, Ivester uses journals left by her mother, as well as writings of her own, to paint a vivid and inspiring portrait of her family’s experiences living and working in an all-black town during the height of the civil war movement.

Monday, April 27, 7pm
April Dammann discusses and signs Corita Kent. Art & Soul. The Biography
On the cover of Newsweek in 1964, Sister Mary Corita became known as the rebel nun. Corita may have been a rebel but she was never outspoken. Her message was very clear. Love, peace, joy and godliness. An eighteen-year-old Frances Kent joined the Immaculate Heart of Mary order of Catholic nuns in 1936. From the day she became Sister Mary Corita, her vision expanded. First as a nun, teacher and artist to finally an activist for social justice. As early as 1952, Corita and her art were recognized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as best in show for printmaking. Her work evolved to represent a subversive homage to mass media, giving a whole new meaning to the slogans and marketing manipulations of consumer culture. In 1968, a trampled and despondent Corita took a radical turn toward independence. Fearful but faithful, she left her religious order. From then on she was known as Corita Kent. Suddenly thrust into the secular world, she shaped a new career. She continued to turn out silkscreen prints that combined image and quotations. For the next two decades, Corita approached politics from a humanistic standpoint and was repeatedly recognized for her profound messages. In 1985, the U.S. Postal Service commissioned her to design the Love Stamp which went on to sell more than 700 million copies. Before her death in 1986, Corita Kent bequeathed her complete collection of prints to what is now UCLA’s Hammer Museum. Her work will be showcased in Los Angeles in June 2015, when “Someday is Now: the Art of Corita Kent” opens at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.

Wednesday, April 29, 6pm
Rick Bayless discusses and signs More Mexican Everyday: Simple, Seasonal, Celebratory
Rick Bayless transformed America’s understanding of Mexican cuisine with his Mexican Everyday. Now, ten years later, he returns with an all-new collection of uniquely flavorful recipes. More Mexican Everyday teaches home cooks how to make delicious meals with a few ingredients in a short amount of time. He explains the classic techniques that create so many beloved Mexican meals, from tacos and enchiladas to pozole and mole. “Everyday” Mexican also means simplicity, so Rick dedicates whole chapters to illustrate skillful use of the slow cooker and rice cooker. Rick loves to highlight the use of seasonal vegetables. The heart of this cookbook is devoted to modern creations that range from a Jícama-Beet Salad inspired by Mexico’s classic Christmas Eve salad to a sweet-and-tangy butternut braise. Rick’s flexible imagination also transforms breakfast into a meal for any hour. His Open-Face Red Chile–Chard Omelet is as great for Wednesday night dinner as it is for Sunday brunch. Also included are some of Rick’s amazing desserts. Among them are his Mexican Chocolate–Pumpkin Seed Cake and Fresh Fruit with 24-Hour Cajeta and Bitter Chocolate.
This event will be held in the Vroman’s event space and will be ticketed. Tickets are $40.00 + tax per person and will include a copy of More Mexican Everyday along with entry for a tasting of recipes from the book. Tickets will be available for purchase as of Monday, April 6th at 9am. Books and tasting vouchers will be available for pick up the morning of Tuesday, April 28th.